This dish really doesn’t have to be difficult. The potatoes and fennel are quick and easy to prepare, and if the artichokes sound like too much hard work (but it’s worth a try), there are good-quality tinned artichoke bottoms available. Mixed bags of salad leaves are also available in supermarkets.
To make the dressing, place all the ingredients except the oils into a food processor and blitz to a paste. With the motor running, slowly add the oil, as you would for mayonnaise. Push the dressing through a fine sieve then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice the new potatoes while still warm and mix with the chopped onion. Add about
To cook the fennel, plunge it into boiling, salted water with the lemon juice and simmer for about 20 minutes until tender. Allow to cool in the liquor. When cool, halve the fennel and slice into long strips.
Warm the potatoes, fennel and artichokes together in half the butter.
Cut the skate into fingers, allowing five pieces per portion. Lightly flour the skate and fry in the remaining butter and the olive oil for a few minutes on each side.
Mix the dressing with the potatoes, fennel and artichokes and spoon on to the centre of the plates. Sit the skate fingers on top and finish with some salad leaves tossed in the remaining vinaigrette. Any left-over dressing can be kept in the fridge and used for simple mixed salads.
© 1994 Gary Rhodes. All rights reserved.